Banshees… should ghost hunters look for them? In my opinion, the answer is no, but not for the reasons you might expect.
A March 2011 episode of Destination: Truth focused on a Banshee, or a “hotbed” of Banshees at Duckett’s Grove Castle in County Carlow, Ireland.
Looking for a Banshee is like looking for a Guardian Angel. (The spiritual kind, not the Guardian Angels organized by Curtis Sliwa and his wife.)
A Banshee will find you, not vice versa.
I began writing about Banshees in 1999: Banshee – Ghost, faerie or something else?
The Banshee’s cry
I have heard a Banshee, and it’s not something I’d want to hear again. Others’ first-person descriptions of the Banshee’s wail — described as keening, from the Irish word caoine — are equally chilling.
In many modern-day reports, the Banshee cries through someone living. It’s similar to something in science fiction and horror movies: The person (usually female) opens her mouth and a terrible cry emerges. It sounds nothing like the person’s actual voice. It’s more like the worst combination of fingernails on a blackboard, mixed with someone dragging a bow across a squeaking violin string.
That’s worth repeating: It sounds nothing like the person’s actual voice. If you think, “Oh, he (or she) must be faking it,” you’re probably not hearing a Banshee. The sound isn’t even close to human.
Death and the Banshee
Banshees protect families with Irish ancestry. Generally, they’re not seen or heard when they’re quietly successful with their protection efforts.
The only time you’re likely to hear or see a Banshee is if she’s anguished because she can’t prevent a tragedy in “her” family.
Banshees, ghosts, clones and quantum theories
Almost every family with Irish ancestry has their own Banshee. That’s the theory, anyway. (I explained more about that in my 1999 article, linked above.)
However, those who see the Banshee and know their family history… they always describe her as a known ancestor, usually from before the 1700s.
That’s where this becomes odd: It appears that every household with Irish ancestry has a Banshee… but within one family line, they’re all the same ancestor.
That leaves just a few possibilities. These are among the most likely:
- It’s one spirit but she’s protecting thousands of households.
- The spirits are different (and may or may not be spirits of ancestors), but they choose a common ancestral image that the family may recognize.
- It’s one spirit and she’s cloned herself as a spiritual protector.
- From her own time, she’s able to visit multiple times & places (parallel realities) and — as a time traveller — try to change future outcomes.
- Something’s paranormal is occurring, but the Banshee stories influence how the encounter is perceived and told to others.
Ghost hunting for Banshees?
Banshees are ghosts only in the sense that — according to many reports — each one looks like someone who was once alive… a real person.
So, they could be called ghosts.
However, this isn’t a spirit that you can help to “cross over.”
If you hear or see a Banshee
Banshees don’t cause death or tragedy. They’re simply able to see the likelihood of tragedy, and they’re already mourning.
This is important: Even if you see or hear a Banshee, the tragedy can still be avoided. As any good psychic will tell you: The future isn’t set in stone.
The Banshee can’t prevent whatever-it-is, but you (or someone else) might be able to.
At the very least, immediately leave the site where you encounter the Banshee. Tragedy is imminent. If the Banshee remains behind, it’s not your tragedy and you can avoid being part of it.
On the other hand, hearing or seeing multiple Banshees at once usually indicates a tragedy involving someone with a high profile… a politician or a church leader. You’re less likely to prevent that from occurring.
Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a Banshee, you’re looking for trouble. At best, it’s a waste of time to launch a paranormal investigation to encounter a Banshee.
At worst, you could be putting yourself in harm’s way. An encounter with a Banshee usually means that something very bad is likely to happen.
Though some have speculated that a Banshee is related to the faerie called “the little woman of the hearth” or to the Green Lady traditions, the Banshee is more likely to be a distinct kind of entity… and not appropriate for ghost hunting.
Irish travel tips for ghost hunters
Duckett’s Grove Castle is a great location for ghost hunting. The location is tremendous and picturesque… and a little eerie.
The castle has an amazing history that includes money, power struggles and tragedy, and more than one family curse. Several incidents from the castle’s past could lead to hauntings.
Ireland is a wonderful place to explore if you’re a ghost hunter or a paranormal researcher. Banshees are best avoided, but Ireland’s rich history and haunted sites offer more active ghostly encounters than most countries.
Photo credit: Steve Ford Elliott, Mountshannon, Co Clare, Ireland Eire